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KEYS Program shares with Herkimer BOCES students
how music can help children battling cancer

May 24, 2017




Donna Mucks performs on stage for Herkimer BOCES special programs students
Donna Mucks of the KEYS Program performs as Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES special programs students clap along on Thursday, May 18, in the lobby at the William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.



HERKIMER – Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES special programs students recently danced in their seats and sang along as Donna Mucks of the KEYS Program performed and told the students how the program helps children battling cancer and their families through music.

“Music makes people smile,” she said. “It’s the basis of what we do at the KEYS Program.”

The KEYS Program is a local nonprofit organization that supports children and their families through a variety of direct services, reaching children one smile at a time. Mucks performed at Herkimer BOCES on Thursday, May 18, to spread information about the program and the benefits of music.

The program’s outreach efforts include going into hospitals to spend time with children during treatments – performing music, putting on puppet shows or doing whatever it takes to put a smile on a child’s face. There also are other services to support the entire family.

Herkimer BOCES special education teacher Roseann Norod, who is retiring at the end of this school year, has been leading efforts at Herkimer BOCES to raise money for the KEYS Program for the past several years.

“I think it’s one of the most worthy organizations that we could support,” she said.

Norod arranged for Mucks to visit and perform for students.

“What I’m looking for is awareness of the KEYS program and continued support of it,” Norod said. “This has been something that’s been near and dear to my heart. I’m hoping for the support to continue – hoping that somebody will pick it up and carry it forward.”

Norod also believes in the program’s message about how music can help people during challenging times.

“Music is the universal language,” she said.

Mucks, who said the KEYS Program served 8,000 children last year, showed the Herkimer BOCES students songs that are performed for children in the hospital – such as an echo song to distract them and a song for dancing in your seat when you’ve been sitting still for too long.

Mucks said the benefits of music include that it can help you relax, reduce nausea, reduce anxiety, deal with pain, lower blood pressure and improve breathing.

“So there are so many benefits,” she said. “Teachers, use it in your classroom if you can. I used to use it as a teacher, and it was awesome.”

During the presentation, Herkimer BOCES special education teacher Georgia Waite and her students also presented two bags lined with crayons and coloring books to Mucks as a donation to the program to help “KEYS kids.”

To learn more about the KEYS Program and how you can donate, visit www.thekeysprogram.org. To learn more about how you can donate through Herkimer BOCES, contact Norod at 315-867-3072 or rnorod@herkimer-boces.org.



Donna Mucks performs on stage for Herkimer BOCES special programs students
Donna Mucks of the KEYS Program performs for Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES as special programs students follow along with hand motions on Thursday, May 18, in the lobby at the William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.


Donna Mucks performs on stage for Herkimer BOCES special programs students
Donna Mucks of the KEYS Program plays guitar and sings  for Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES special programs students on Thursday, May 18, in the lobby at the William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.


Donna Mucks performs on stage for Herkimer BOCES special programs students
Donna Mucks of the KEYS Program performs as Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES special programs students sing along on Thursday, May 18, in the lobby at the William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.


Herkimer BOCES teacher and students present donation bags to Donna Mucks of the KEYS Program
Donna Mucks (right) of the KEYS Program receives bags with crayons and coloring books as a donation from Herkimer BOCES special education teacher Georgia Waite and her students on Thursday, May 18, in the lobby at the William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.








 
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